Series: Book #1 of Sons of Old Trilogy
Author: Annabell Cadiz
Genre: YA (Fantasy/Paranormal, Romance)
Synopsis.Have you ever wondered what could be hiding in the shadows?
Well, for eighteen-year-old Zahara Faraday, she doesn’t have to wonder. You see she comes from a lineage of Light Witches, those who have chosen to help protect and serve between the supernatural world and the human world. The only problem is Zahara, like her father Solomon, is as human as a human being can be whereas her mother, Mia, and her Aunt Catalina, were born as Light Witches. As a family they hunt down rogue supernaturals—creatures who harm humans or who have committed an act against their kingdom.
Zahara’s hunting skills are usually kept dormant since her parents would prefer she live life as a normal human girl without knowledge of the supernatural world. She plans on doing just that—except when she finds a couple being attacked by fairies, she has no choice but to step in. Before she can return to pretending to be blissfully ignorant, Zahara encounters a problem she isn’t the least equip to handle: Bryan Hamilton, the good looking new co-worker she has to help train. In a heartbeat, her best friend, Becca King, has set her up on a double date with herself and her new crush, Rekesh Saint-Louis, who happens to be the most powerful leader of the biggest Imago Coven in South Florida –supernatural creatures with the ability to control water . . . and suck out human souls.
Zahara has no time to focus on how she’s going to explain her double date with her best friend and the enemy they have a tentative truce with to her parents because soon one of the members of Mia and Catalina’s coven is found murdered with a strange tattoo of a snake with wings carved into his arm.
Zahara is then thrown into a whirlwind battle with an angel determined to have revenge against God, an Imago coven she doesn’t think they should trust, and slew of dream-eating fairies and powerful Nephilims, hybrid children of angels and humans, more than happy to rip her to shreds.
Normal just got a deadlier definition.
Excerpt from PrologueMargaret stood in front of the mirror and stared at herself. She twirled a few ends of her naturally curly, red hair around her fingers to give them an extra bounce, then turned her eyes to the dress. She had chosen to wear an off-the-shoulder, white gown made of gauzy muslin with printed, red tulips scattered around the body of the dress. Her feet were adorned in a pair of patent-leather, white flats with a red lining around the top.
She ran her hand over her stomach and exhaled loudly. She could feel the
adrenaline in her nerves circulating throughout her body, reminding her that the calm mask she was wearing was only an act. The party for this evening was a part of that act. She held up her left hand in front of her face and stared down at the ring. The band was thin platinum with a fourteen-carat diamond in the middle and the words In aeternum meus es tu engraved throughout the inside.
You are mine forever. Margaret could feel the nausea forming in her stomach as she thought of his words. She remembered the dark glint in his eyes and the slight edge to his voice as he repeated the same words inscribed on the ring. She knew then what he was. She could feel the dark power emanating from his arms as he wrapped them around her.
Tonight would be the only chance she would have to send him back. But another piece of her heart cracked opened at the idea of losing him.
Margaret closed her eyes and tightened her hands into fists against her sides. How could she destroy the one she loved, even if he was evil?
Part of her knew how completely ridiculous she was to still love him. He had set his plan in motion from the moment he had chosen her. He had lied to her from the second he introduced himself, and had done nothing more than manipulate her feelings. She should hate him. But there was a small piece of her heart that wouldn’t let him go. Her lips wore the faint, gentle, warm pressure of his mouth, and her skin still lingered with his soft caresses. How was it possible to hate what you still loved?
“How lovely is thy face; nothing on the Earth can compare.”
Margaret’s eyes flew open at the sound of Jeremiah’s deep, smooth voice. She looked at him from the mirror. He was leaning against the doorframe to her bedroom, his lips wearing an open smile. He had on a burgundy tailcoat over a black vest and white, long-sleeved shirt matched with a pair of khaki trousers and knee-high, brown riding boots. The adrenaline in Margaret’s body surged forward, causing her to lose her breath. Margaret wanted to slap her traitorous heart.
“What are you doing here? I thought we were to meet at the party,” Margaret asked, still watching him through the mirror.
“I had wanted to spend some time with you before we were thrown to the wolves,” Jeremiah said as he walked toward her.
“I am not sure that is a wise idea.” Margaret’s heart grew louder. Jeremiah stood behind her and brushed her hair from her shoulder. “Mama and Papa will be wondering where we have gone.”
“I am sure they will not worry, they trust me far too much.” Jeremiah continued whispering, running his hands down her arms. “Are you nervous about the party?” He wrapped his hands around Margaret’s fists, gently soothing her fingers loose.
Margaret smiled faintly. “I am a little bit weary. The entire village will be there, watching us.”
“How could they not with such an angel in their presence,” Jeremiah said, smiling again.
Margaret giggled and cast her gaze to the floor.
“Come, I have something I want to show you before we are to celebrate,” Jeremiah announced as he spun Margaret around. He entwined his fingers in hers and dashed out of first the bedroom then the front door of the house, holding tightly to Margaret.
Jeremiah led Margaret into the woods and stopped once they had reached a hidden meadow Margaret had never seen before. There were tulips in shades of purple, orange, pink, and white everywhere, along with red roses, yellow lilies, pink alstroemerias, and lavender poms. The flowers seemed to sparkle in the silver light. Margaret inhaled deeply and filled her senses with the rich scents.
“Do you like it?” Jeremiah whispered into her ear.
“It’s quite beautiful,” Margaret whispered in return.
“It is a wedding gift for my greatest love.” Jeremiah planted a kiss on her shoulder. “One of many to be expected through our lifelong journey together.” He moved his lips to her neck.
“I am undeserving,” Margaret said quietly, trying to keep her body from shivering. He was too close and she was scared she would lose her resolve.
“No one is more deserving than you, my sweet Margaret.” Jeremiah turned her to face him. He leaned forward and, as he began kissing her, Jeremiah lifted up a dagger; but before he could plunge it into Margaret’s back, she pushed him forward. Jeremiah sailed through the air and back against a tree. He looked up at Margaret, stunned. She had her arm still flung outward; the curls of her hair danced in circles as power glowed from her body.
Jeremiah’s mouth hardened into a dark grin as he rose to his feet. His eyes were smoldering as dark as the blanketed sky and he chuckled low in his throat.
“You are one of them,” Jeremiah said amused. “Very clever to have hidden your true self for so long. Bravo.” He applauded.
“Why did you come here?” Margaret asked. She dropped her arm to her side but kept her power swirling around her.
“The real question you want to ask is: did I ever really love you?” Jeremiah said, his grin widening. “Pathetic humans,” he spat. “How could you ever believe one such as I, born of stars and fire, would fall in love with such an inferior race? Foolish girl.”
“You are right, I was foolish, but no more,” Margaret whispered fiercely. She pushed her power forward and sent Jeremiah sliding back a few hundred feet.
Jeremiah sprang to his feet with a growl escaping from his lips, but Margaret
managed to send him flying back once more. Jeremiah suddenly disappeared and, just as quickly, reappeared behind Margaret, driving the knife into her back, just beneath her kidneys. Margaret screamed in pain and stumbled forward. Jeremiah grabbed her hair and yanked her back toward him.
“You could have made your death quick and less painful. Did you really think you had a chance at defeating me?” He roughly threw her onto the ground. “Once I am done with you, I will retrieve what belongs to me and set this village ablaze.”
Jeremiah drove forward, meaning to drive the dagger into Margaret’s heart, but the ground shook beneath him and the roots of the trees wrapped themselves around him. He tried to rip himself free with his power, but that only caused the roots to tighten their hold. Margaret stood up; blood was running freely from her back and she could feel her body calling to surrender to the darkness that surrounded her. She concentrated with all her might on Jeremiah to keep her power from slipping.
“You cannot hold me for long; your life is forfeit.” Jeremiah spoke triumphantly.
“Enough time to send you back,” Margaret promised. “Pater noster, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur Nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo.”
“You waste both your power and your life,” Jeremiah said through gritted teeth as the roots wrapped around his neck. “You can send me back, but I will always return.”
“Deus defende nos in proelio, contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium. Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur: tuque, Princeps militiae coelestis, Satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo, divina virtute, in infernum detrude,” Margaret continued to chant.
“You cannot get rid of me. I am the shadows of the night. I am alive in the whispered lies and sad attempts of half-truths,” Jeremiah strained to whisper. “I will come back for her, Margaret. I will find her. No matter where your family hides her, she will be mine.”
“Portas inferni et quidquid deus non est hic. In nomine Christi, filii Dei remittimus tibi haec serpant purus!” Margaret finished and dropped to her knees as her power finally gave out.
Jeremiah’s body was released and the roots of the trees returned to the ground. Margaret closed her eyes and inhaled the sweet scent of the lilies as her heart thudded for the last time.
About the Author
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